Synopses & Reviews
Mary Karr describes herself as a black-belt sinner, and this -- her fourth collection of poems --traces her improbable journey from the inferno of a tormented childhood into a resolutely irreverent Catholicism. Not since Saint Augustine wrote Give me chastity, Lord -- but not yet has anyone brought such smart-assed hilarity to a conversion story.
Karr's battle is grounded in common loss (a bitter romance, friends' deaths, a teenage son's leaving home) as well as in elegies for a complicated mother. The poems disarm with the arresting humor familiar to readers of her memoirs, The Liars' Club and Cherry, An illuminating cycle of spiritual poems have roots in Karr's eight-month tutelage in Jesuit prayer practice, and as an afterword, her celebrated essay on faith weaves the tale of how the language of poetry, which relieved her suffering so young, eventually became the language of prayer. Those of us who fret that poetry denies consolation will find clear-eyed joy in this collection.
In her fourth collection of poems, self-described black-belt sinner Mary Karr traces her improbable journey from the inferno of a tormented childhood into a resolutely irreverent Catholicism. Not since Saint Augustine wrote “Give me chastity, Lord—but not yet!” has anyone brought such smart-assed hilarity to a conversion story.
From Mary Karr, the prize-winning and New York Times bestselling author of The Liars Club and Cherry, comes the paperback edition of Sinners Welcome, her fourth and most recent collection of poetry. Published to coincide with the hardcover release of her newest memoir, Lit, Sinners Welcome traces her improbable journey from a tormented childhood into a resolutely irreverent Catholicism.
About the Author
Mary Karr's first memoir, The Liars' Club, kick-started a memoir revolution and won nonfiction prizes from PEN and the Texas Institute of Letters. Also a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, it rode high on the New York Timesbestseller list for over a year, becoming an annual "best book" there and for The New Yorker, People, and Time. Recently Entertainment Weeklyrated it number four in the top one hundred books of the past twenty-five years. Her second memoir, Cherry, which was excerpted in The New Yorker, also hit bestseller and "notable book" lists at the New York Timesand dozens of other papers nationwide. A Guggenheim Fellow in poetry, Karr has won Pushcart Prizes for both verse and essays. Other grants include the Whiting Award and Radcliffe's Bunting Fellowship. She is the Peck Professor of Literature at Syracuse University.